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Rift 1.3 Interview

/ Jun 22nd, 2011 No Comments

Rift is an exciting MMORPG from Trion Worlds that has seen rapid adoption and growth within the gamer community over the last six months. Many gaming media outlets, including ours, have given Rift very positive marks. As part of their content roll-outs that are regularly scheduled, massive world events will be unlocked for gamers to battle through. Rift version 1.3 is released today, which reveals access to Hammerknell, the sealed capital city of the Dwarves.

We recently sat down with Will Cook from Trion Worlds, who is in charge of Rift’s dynamic content. We talked about the new update being released today, the success that Rift has seen and what is coming up in the world of Telara.

GI: Sean Gibson, Gaming Illustrated. I’m here with Will Cook. Will could you talk about your role with Rift.

WC: I’m the dynamic content lead. I work on zone events, Rift events, invasions and now world events as we’ve been live.

GI: Will, you’re talking exactly about one of the strengths of the games in my opinion. Can you talk a bit about content and what it really means to get good content updates, such as these events and how they’re evolving as the game is now approaching 1.3?

WC: Well the great thing about what we’re doing with world events is I suppose there are two goals that I always try to have. The first one is that anybody should be able to participate in the world event whether you’re level one or level fifty. We want to make sure that in every single phase there’s something for you to do and rewards for you to earn. The other cool thing we’re doing with world events is how we’re updating our library of dynamic content. A lot of the content built into these world events will exist in a slightly different form after the world event ends. We want the stories to make sense but the world event is in a sense telling a live story that everyone’s participating in and when it’s done, that’s the moment that you will remember forever but it’s not going to repeat itself. However, a lot of the individual story elements are still there because as more and more players join the game we want to make sure that they can experience the full story of Telara as well.

GI: Version 1.3 – a lot of people were excited about this new world event you just showed us. Could you talk a little bit about it?

Rift 1.3

Rift 1.3 Hammerknell

WC: So this will be the story of Hammerknell which is previously a fortress that was sealed in the Moon Shade Highlands and is now going to be our absolutely epic instance. It’s humongous in scale, as you were able to see, the entire world event is centered around the mysteries in the depths of Hammerknell. And there’s a couple cool reveals but in the end there are some things you’ll just have to play to see. One of the reveals is that something much more sinister lurks in the very bottom of Hammerknell.

GI: With Rift there’s always a bigger payoff. There’s always more beneath the surface isn’t there?

WC: Well, we tried to layer it. There’s a lot you can do with six different planes but the big thing is make sure they all interconnect, that every story is reinforcing the stories we’ve already told and foreshadowing what’s going to happen in the future. You don’t really want to release whether it’s a box expansion or a content update, you don’t want to release something that’s kind of out of left field that the players couldn’t have predicted. You always want to create that feeling that when you read that book again or when you watch that movie again there’s so much there that you didn’t see the first time. And that’s hopefully what we do for anybody who plays our game.

GI: Rift’s really taking off, climbing the ranks if you will. A bit of satisfaction there?

WC: You know it’s rewarding especially as somebody who gets to work on dynamic content which breaks a lot of rule, right. We take over quest hubs, we put mobs on the road, we do a lot of things that the design maxims tell you you’re not supposed to do. But we’re seeing a lot of good player feedback with regards to that and we’re always trying to modify; we’re trying to adjust it, we’re trying to evolve it to make it better but it’s gratifying to see that we’re going so strong and so solid. We haven’t really had a volatile beta development. I mean everything has just been continuing to trend upwards.

GI: One of the other main strengths of Rift, in my opinion, and I’m going to link these together, are scale and art direction. I think this goes right into what we just saw with 1.3 right?

WC: Yeah. You’re talking about a world event that is six weeks long with new content both dynamic and static and rewards every step of the way. And then you enter an instance that I’ve never seen its equal. Again it feels to me more like a first person shooter level then something you’re playing an MMO in. You saw the final area over the final boss fight which is a massive area for a multistage boss fight that hopefully players won’t forget.

GI: It’s looking gorgeous. Congratulations on all your success. We look forward to seeing more from rift.

WC: Oh thank you very much and we hope to have you back and hopefully we can keep up this pace of quality updates so you’ll have more to talk about in just a few short weeks.

GI: Sounds great. Thank you Will.

Sean W. Gibson

Sean W. Gibson

Founder, Featured Contributor at Gaming Illustrated
Sean Gibson has been the owner and Executive Editor of Gaming Illustrated for over eleven years. His roles include acting as CEO and President of Gaming Illustrated, LLC and also includes being a reviewer, previewer and interviewer. Sean's opinions on this site do not reflect those of his full-time employer.
Sean W. Gibson
Sean W. Gibson

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